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Agua Para Todos / Water for All

Agua Para Todos / Water for All

A consortium of local communities, an NGO and a pipe manufacturer is building water distribution systems in coordination with the municipal water company in Cochabamba, each connecting between 100 and 500 poor households. The costs are being met by the communities through a micro credit scheme, repayable within a year.

Access to clean water is an emotive issue in developing countries that sometimes leads to civil unrest and major social problems. The SEED-winning project ‘Water for All’ was inspired following the well-documented ‘water wars’ in Cochabamba. The municipal water company, a private consortium, the local community and a non-profit, micro-credit foundation are working together to create community-owned secondary water distributions in poor peri-urban areas of Cochabamba. In the suburban areas of Cochabamba, Bolivia, the municipal water company, SEMAPA, lacks the finance to build secondary water distribution networks, leaving hundreds of homes without a connection to the main water supply. In response, local communities have organized themselves into “Water Committees”, but their attempts to build their own water networks have taken place in an uncoordinated, inefficient way. Agua Tuya/PLASTIFORTE, a private consortium, has been manufacturing pipes and building water distribution systems for the Water Committees for the past eight years, but the work has not been coordinated with the water company. The Agua Para Todos initiative takes the pieces of the puzzle and recombines them in an innovative partnership model.

By combining its partners’ resources, the partnership overcomes the problem of the prohibitive costs of new secondary water connections, and reduces end-user water cost. Further, by embedding the participation of the people directly in water provision, the partnership creates socio-political stability in an area known previously for its volatility.

Water for all is looking forward to replicate the project in other municipalities and renew the agreement with the Municipality of Cochabamba.

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